Akintokunbo A Adejumo
The guy in the middle you are looking at is Abiodun Adegoke. He is 7 feet and 2 inches tall, ((in England, they lovingly call such tall people, Beanpoles) almost 18 years old and has just been admitted to resume and complete his secondary education at Segun Odegbami International College and Sports Academy (SOCA), Wasimi, near Abeokuta, Ogun State.
He should have finished his school leaving certificate and be in first Year at a university, but failed to do so following his inability to cope with the psychological effect of the taunting by the public, the bullying by school mates and the financial constraints he had to face.
So two years ago, he left school in SS1 and retired into isolation, remaining mostly indoors weeping for the ‘misfortune’ fate had dealt him. He admits he is facing psychological challenges because of his unusual height and is only trying to cope with the attention he attracts everywhere. All of that until Chief Segun Odegbami found and took him in to resume a more purposeful life.
At SOCA, he is to be well schooled, trained and groomed to gain a very good education as well as sports excellence that would open up opportunities available to someone with his exceptional gift of nature. Guess in what sport? Basketball, of course!
There is no doubt that he may be destined to be a great basketball superstar in the mould and background of the legendary Akeem Olajuwon. This is what SOCA is committed to steering him towards.
But there is a big challenge – the finances to take care of the rest of his education.
Interestingly, Abiodun is from Ibadan.
What will it take the Oyo State Government to take up the financial commitment of supporting him to finish schooling in Nigeria? Being in SS2, he has less than two years left to complete his studies.
Undoubtedly, American College basketball scouts will soon be on his trail, and a successful future with the support of the Oyo State government will be a big plus for the people and government of the State.
Your Excellency, Governor Abiola Ajimobi, here is a challenge for you, and an opportunity to demonstrate goodwill and support for one of your children from the State. It will be a positive gesture by you that would reflect and reciprocate the kindness and benevolence of the good people of Ibadan and Oyo State.
I am sure you have Chief Odegbami’s phone number.